A Halter Dress with Vintage Flair!

I just love vintage clothing, don’t you?  Like this dress from one of my fave thrift stores?

Technically, it is vintage.

Technically, it is vintage.

Many of you have said you really wanted me to get on refashioning that orange and black dress on the rack in your comments, and I’m finally doing it!  :)

But what on earth am I going to do with this fake jacket/skirt dress?  to get started, I did a BUNCH of chopping!



I removed the sleeves, the collar, and the back of this dress.  As you can see from this post’s title, I’m going to turn it into a halter dress!

I flipped that fake jacket band up.  This will raise it to the proper height for my new dress.



I turned my dress inside-out and put it on my dress form.  Then, I got to taking it in from the back!

Take it all in!

Take it all in!

Do you like my bracelet pin cushion?

Do you like my pin cushion bracelet?

I chopped of the excess material with my pinking shears.  Now I needed to close up those raw edges at the top of my dress.

Pin the sides!

Pin the sides!

Stitch 'em down!

Stitch ‘em down!

The front of my halter was almost done!  All I needed to do now was attach that flipped-up waist band so it stays put!

Pin it up!

Pin it up!

Stitch it down (I used a zigzag stitch)!

Stitch it down (I used a zigzag stitch)!

Almost done!  Now I just need straps to tie the top of my dress on!

I could have made straps from the leftover fabric, but I went with this instead:

It's always good to have this on hand!

It’s always good to have this on hand!

My reasoning for this is twofold.  First, I thought the black would look nice with the black waistband of the dress.  Second, I was in a hurry and this was a faster approach than stitching new straps!  :)

I pinned them on…



…then I stitched them down!

A final whirrrrrrr!

A final whirrrrrrr!

Now that dress is the right kind of vintage!  :)

I'm quite proud of this one!

I’m quite proud of this one!

This dress kind of reminds of Marilyn Monroe’s dress in The Seven Year Itch.

Just imagine it in orange & black.

Just imagine it in orange & black!

It even looks nice from the back, too!



I wore my newly-refashioned dress out for drinks with friends, followed by a Nathan Angelo Concert at Tin Roof!  :)

None of us are actually British.

None of us are actually British.

It's Nathan Angelo & Friends!

It’s Nathan Angelo & Friends!

It's a bike!  On the ceiling!

It’s a bike! On the ceiling!

It's Dan!  :)

It’s Dan! :)




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62 Comments on A Halter Dress with Vintage Flair!

  1. Nicki
    September 13, 2013 at 2:50 pm (7 months ago)

    Super cute. My fave so far! :)

    • Julia
      September 13, 2013 at 3:25 pm (7 months ago)

      i agree. my fave too so far.

  2. Melanie
    September 13, 2013 at 2:53 pm (7 months ago)


  3. Laura Detmer
    September 13, 2013 at 2:54 pm (7 months ago)

    Yay! I love it! It’s about time you did something with the orange and black one! ;)

  4. Claudia
    September 13, 2013 at 2:56 pm (7 months ago)

    This by far is probably my favorite refash!!! I love it…I’m inspired :)

  5. Linda
    September 13, 2013 at 3:08 pm (7 months ago)

    I absolutely love this one!
    Dan looks like he is losing weight, love his cute smile :)

  6. Michelle Z
    September 13, 2013 at 3:09 pm (7 months ago)

    I think this is my all-time favorite piece of yours!

  7. Sarah
    September 13, 2013 at 3:20 pm (7 months ago)

    This is my favorite one you have done! I would wear the crap out of this dress! Bravo!

  8. Jenn
    September 13, 2013 at 3:23 pm (7 months ago)

    Lovin’ it!! So cute…. now I want to buy a dress form….I will be sure to mention your name when I tell my husband!

  9. Irene
    September 13, 2013 at 3:24 pm (7 months ago)

    I love love love this!

  10. Trish
    September 13, 2013 at 3:24 pm (7 months ago)

    Love this one! and the pin cushion bracelet is great! it’s one of my favorite sewing accessories. makes things a little easier, doesn’t it? =]

  11. Sarah
    September 13, 2013 at 3:30 pm (7 months ago)

    Amazing refash – looks super-cute :)

  12. Sondra
    September 13, 2013 at 3:34 pm (7 months ago)

    You look just lovely Jillian! Very classy :)

  13. Barbara
    September 13, 2013 at 3:34 pm (7 months ago)

    Love it!

  14. Denise
    September 13, 2013 at 3:37 pm (7 months ago)

    I think this is the most amazing transformation yet. I was truly offended by the before dress. Your refashioning skills rock.

  15. Dee
    September 13, 2013 at 3:38 pm (7 months ago)

    To use one of my new favorite words that I learned from you… AMAZEBALLS!

  16. Debbie
    September 13, 2013 at 3:40 pm (7 months ago)

    Very nice and it looks terrific on you.

  17. bridgetannie
    September 13, 2013 at 3:42 pm (7 months ago)

    100% my all time fav! LOVE it.

  18. Kay
    September 13, 2013 at 3:53 pm (7 months ago)

    Very cute!

  19. Carissa
    September 13, 2013 at 3:54 pm (7 months ago)

    I just love how this turned out! And the colors are perfect for autumn!

  20. Laura
    September 13, 2013 at 3:54 pm (7 months ago)

    I agree!! One of very besties!!

  21. Laura
    September 13, 2013 at 3:56 pm (7 months ago)

    I want to “pin” this….any suggestions.

    • Laura
      September 13, 2013 at 3:56 pm (7 months ago)

      GOT IT!! Thanks

  22. Desarae
    September 13, 2013 at 3:56 pm (7 months ago)

    Love the vintage vibe! A little too much skin for me personally, but you did a great job with this project– it is a completely different garment! :)

  23. donna
    September 13, 2013 at 4:05 pm (7 months ago)

    I really like this one and it looks great on you. A little sexy but not to much

  24. barb
    September 13, 2013 at 4:39 pm (7 months ago)

    That’s really nice , looks great .

  25. Tabitha
    September 13, 2013 at 4:51 pm (7 months ago)

    Sooo cute! Great job

  26. Patti
    September 13, 2013 at 5:05 pm (7 months ago)

    My all time favorite! You are so adorable.

  27. Kim Douglas
    September 13, 2013 at 5:14 pm (7 months ago)

    Very creative thinking there to come up with the halter dress from that thing and it looks great on you. My only extra thought is it would have been better if it was shorter. But super job anyway

  28. Heather Hicks
    September 13, 2013 at 5:35 pm (7 months ago)

    The new halter dress is Fan Freaking Tastic! And now that I’ve taken the time to click on comment, I’ll also say that I truly appreciate what you’re doing on your blog. You’ve certainly changed the way I look at fashion. Thanks to your blog, I actually set foot in the Goodwill Outlet. It’s now the only place I shop for my family of five! Thanks!

  29. Kay
    September 13, 2013 at 5:49 pm (7 months ago)

    Love the length, keeps the vintagey vibe =). Nice job as always.

  30. Caryn
    September 13, 2013 at 5:50 pm (7 months ago)

    My favorite refash
    Looks amazing

  31. Joyce Love
    September 13, 2013 at 7:07 pm (7 months ago)

    I love it! It was worth mulling this one over for awhile to come up with that great refashion! And I think the length is just right!

  32. Eileen
    September 13, 2013 at 7:49 pm (7 months ago)

    Great job with this one!!! It’s hard to tell in the pictures – is the top a cowl neck or V neck?? Love it, either way!!

  33. Laura
    September 13, 2013 at 7:53 pm (7 months ago)

    Love this! Very inspiring too – I have a thing for 80′s dresses but I’m never sure how to approach them refashion-wise! Hope you don’t mind if I borrow some of your ideas (should that be ‘refashion’ some of your ideas?? haha ) Keep up the inspiring work!

  34. JoAnn
    September 13, 2013 at 8:08 pm (7 months ago)

    You inspire me with every refashion you have done but, this one BLOWS ME AWAY!!!!! One of your best in my very humble opinion!!!! I get so excited when i see a new post!!! Keep up your amazing work!

  35. Genie Leslie
    September 13, 2013 at 8:15 pm (7 months ago)

    This is my favorite ever!

  36. lifeisjustduckie
    September 13, 2013 at 8:22 pm (7 months ago)

    I love the pattern, and the halter is lovely.

  37. Mari
    September 13, 2013 at 9:36 pm (7 months ago)

    I LOVE THIS!!!

  38. Tricia
    September 13, 2013 at 9:46 pm (7 months ago)

    N I C E !!! My fav. to date…..

  39. Nancy
    September 14, 2013 at 2:05 am (7 months ago)

    My favourite! Looks gorgeous on you

  40. ktater
    September 14, 2013 at 9:43 am (7 months ago)

    Do you ever make refash something and in the end, just look at it and think “That is so not what I was going for!”

  41. afrugalspinster
    September 14, 2013 at 10:41 am (7 months ago)

    You have such a gift for seeing the potential in a piece. I love reading your blog. Thanks for going to the effort to share the details with us.

  42. Cody Doll
    September 14, 2013 at 11:03 am (7 months ago)

    Very very cute.

  43. Jo H.
    September 14, 2013 at 12:16 pm (7 months ago)

    NICE! I love what you did with the band – very inspired. You look lovely in it!

  44. Cathi
    September 14, 2013 at 5:33 pm (7 months ago)


  45. Beth
    September 14, 2013 at 10:08 pm (7 months ago)

    My most favorite to date. Keep up the great work

  46. Michelle Swetland
    September 15, 2013 at 8:48 am (7 months ago)

    I look forward to your posts. Love the the halter at first I thought you were making a halter palazo pants thing but love the nod to Marilyn! Thanks!

  47. Jessie
    September 15, 2013 at 2:57 pm (7 months ago)

    I really love this one, like, A LOT! You are so creative.

  48. Flo
    September 15, 2013 at 5:38 pm (7 months ago)

    Now that’s a serious refashion! I really like how it turned out, great job!

  49. Sneza
    September 15, 2013 at 9:32 pm (7 months ago)

    Wow! Well done!

  50. Sandra
    September 16, 2013 at 7:37 am (7 months ago)

    Super cute! What a great transformation.

  51. F-des
    September 16, 2013 at 8:18 am (7 months ago)

    wow… i have just discovered this site today… my best friend recommended it to me.

    and i have to say, your work is amazing. i have been frolicking along the posts… and so far this customization has been the best that i have seen… i don’t know how you do it. how you are able to re-imagine and remake a dress…

    i look forward to more customizations… refash!!!

  52. Sherry
    September 16, 2013 at 9:57 am (7 months ago)

    I love this one!!!!

  53. ali
    September 18, 2013 at 4:28 pm (7 months ago)

    Simply fabulous – what an awesome print!

  54. Bri
    September 19, 2013 at 2:25 pm (7 months ago)

    I love love love it! It looks so beautiful on you. This might just my favorite restyle yet!


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